Design games

Business Sectors (Suites): Games and Interactive Media
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


​This standard is about designing games, typically in response to a high-level concept. This does not apply to design of other interactive media products, services and content which are covered by another Standard. You will need to draw on your creativity and innovative ideas in order to 'flesh out the detail' so that designs can be realised by others, such as artists, modellers and programmers.

Games can be for multi-platform or multi-channel use and can also involve the use of immersive technology which can include, but is not restricted to, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).

While not essential, art skills, such as drawing and 3D modelling, and programming and scripting skills may be desirable for game design roles.

This standard is for anyone involved in designing games.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​produce and iterate designs that make optimum use of target platforms and available technologies
  2. produce designs that meet commercial requirements and support games' intended market position
  3. analyse project information to determine relevant design parameters
  4. design games that optimise users' accessibility and experience
  5. design games that meet requirements of target audience
  6. create designs that are fair, balance challenge and enjoyment and maintain flow of game-play to engage target users
  7. document clear, concise specifications and designs in appropriate formats
  8. liaise with colleagues involved in creative, development, programming and quality assurance processes to ensure designs can be realised
  9. prototype design ideas and develop proofs of concept that give an accurate illustration of games
  10. provide guidance for user testing and bug testing that can be understood by those involved
  11. use the results of user testing and other relevant data to inform design decisions
  12. balance creative and commercial requirements, expectations, schedules, resources and feedback from commissioners, colleagues, users and regulators
  13. present sufficient information about games to appropriate internal and external stakeholders

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the history and heritage, styles and genres of games and the types of audience they appeal to and how an understanding of the world outside of games can improve game design
  2. theories, concepts and applications of game design, game mechanics and game economics including game progression, difficulty, ramping and reward systems
  3. player psychology and what makes games engaging and compelling
  4. how to obtain information about project objectives, parameters and constraints including target audience,, commercial requirements proposed market position and target platforms, their capabilities and established conventions relating to their use
  5. the impact of technical parameters of target platforms on design including processing power, memory, bandwidth, screen size, resolution, colour depth, physical user interface
  6. the capabilities, opportunities, limitations and constraints of technologies and approaches including the applicability of real-time animation and the accuracy, range and degrees of freedom and input methods for tracking technology
  7. techniques for understanding target audience and their expectations and preferences including emotional intelligence, appropriate content for different age groups, cultural issues and local sensibilities
  8. the impact of diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, ethics and behavioural psychology on designs
  9. interface design concepts relating to graphical and physical user interfaces and techniques for teaching users how to play games
  10. the relevant principles and methodology of software engineering
  11. formats to document specifications and designs including text, drawings, storyboards, maps or diagrams
  12. the level of detail required for specifications to be realised by others
  13. what is involved in user testing and bug testing and how to oversee it
  14. how to collect, evaluate and use the results of user testing, feedback from others and information about expectations and requirements
  15. third-party online services that could be incorporated or used as part of, or in support of, games
  16. intellectual property issues and other relevant legislation and how it can differ between countries
  17. how to keep up to date with the characteristics of current technologies, emerging technologies, platforms, commercial models and delivery methods


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Media and Communication, VFX Technician, Animation Professionals, AR/VR Technician, Games Professionals

SOC Code



games; gaming; AR/VR; 360; immersive technology; mixed reality; augmented reality; end user; multi-platform; multi-channel; product; prototype; design; drawing; 3D modelling; programming; scripting; accessibility; user experience; target audience